London — Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has claimed team-mate and PFA Players’ Player of the Year N’Golo Kante is ‘no better’ than him.
The 23-year-old was left out of manager Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the current international break and was also not involved for the pair of World Cup qualifiers in October. Bakayoko insisted he respected Deschamps’ decision, but said he was as good as the players selected ahead of him.
“I believe in this World Cup, it remains my goal. I play in a big club, I think it can play in my favour.
“I think Adrien Rabiot, Kante, (Blaise) Matuidi, Corentin Tolisso are no better than me. I respect the choices of the coach and I also respect the selected players, they are talented, they are friends. I am proud that they are selected, I would like to be with them. But I’m not worse than them,” he said.
Bakayoko has made 15 appearances for Chelsea since joining them in the summer.
The Frenchman has scored twice, in the 6-0 win against Qarabag in the Champions League and the 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace.
Kante has won the Premier League for the last two seasons on the spin – first with Leicester and then with Chelsea.